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Letter: Save air traffic control jobs

Wooden airplanes are displayed on a table during

Wooden airplanes are displayed on a table during a press conference in front of the FAA's TRACON facility in Garden City in opposition to FAA planning to relocate air traffic control centers, potentially affecting 900 Long Island controllers. (July 9, 2012) Credit: Steve Pfost

Regarding "Site NextGen on Long Island" [Editorial, July 11], this is a perfect example of jobs we can't afford to lose. Would people be happy to see 1,000 jobs disappear and take millions of dollars out of the local economy?

I have known many air traffic controllers, and most of those working in Ronkonkoma live within 15 minutes of their work. Moving this facility upstate or to Newark would indeed cause the retirement of many of those who are eligible.

This new facility needs to be built on Long Island, preferably between the Nassau-Suffolk line and Long Island MacArthur Airport. This would also provide construction work to help feed the economy.

Where is the creative thinking? What about the stalled Heartland Town Square development in Islip? Reduce the housing load there, use that space for this facility, and maybe even build a Suffolk Veteran's Memorial Coliseum next door! Get things moving forward for a change.

For those who decry the growth of air traffic here, it's not going away.

Greg Johnson, Sag Harbor

Editor's note: The writer is a former air traffic controller.

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